Ouray Colorado: Best Little Town in the San Juan Mountains
Ouray Colorado Provides Relaxation Around Every Corner
Ouray, Colorado is a tiny, picturesque Victorian village nestled into a valley surrounded by rugged alpine peaks rising from the very edges of the town. Situated in a river valley at 7,792 ft. in the heart of the Rocky Mountains lies the spectacular mountain town eloquently nicknamed the “Switzerland of America”.
Ouray officially began in 1876 with the eager stroke of the prospector’s pick. However, the future brought with it those simply inspired by its beauty. Because of Ouray’s majestic peaks, cascading waterfalls, natural hot springs, the famous Million Dollar Highway, Ouray Ice Park, and its reputation for being the Jeep Capital of the World, modern visitors flock to Ouray as much for its beauty as the miners of the past did for the riches they hoped to find.
In Ouray, Mother Nature is the star attraction, providing the WOW factor that affects nearly all visitors. Ample facilities, services and commercial district are vibrant because tourism, with a focus on recreation and nature, is the major industry.
The present year-round population of approximately 900 swells considerably in the summer months as thousands of travelers visit this unique valley. Ouray is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Whether you set out to conquer the mountains with rope and carabineer, on foot, bike, or four-wheel drive—there’s a route for everyone. Autumn is truly an outstanding time of year, with aspen stands and mixed coniferous forests exhibiting glorious displays of golden colors. The winter months are enchanting and Ouray runs on a slower pace. At night when the lights meet the formations of ice and snow they join in a shimmering dance of magical light.
Although Ouray is tiny (only eight blocks long and eight blocks wide), it is mighty and is the perfect retreat for rest and relaxation regardless of the season. In addition to the area's outdoor opportunities, Ouray has over 50 shops and galleries on its compact Main Street as well as 19 restaurants, 13 hotels and 13 Bed & Breakfasts. Ouray has a vibrant arts and cultural community that provides great entertainment to the area residents and visitors alike.
Ouray businesses are truly small businesses, family owned and operated and created by entrepreneurs that fancy a small town way of life. There are no chains or large corporate interests in Ouray; each independent business sustains a family and other town residents through employment.